Recently Featured Essays:  

On Digging Holes

by Jakob Guanzon

They dubbed themselves the Toothless Poets. A pack of five vivacious, working-class youths, each one of them mutually assured of the collective destiny awaiting them once the ink had dried on the page, once the vomit and blood had crusted on the cuffs of their coat sleeves. They were bound to hammer their names into the literary canon, the lot of them undoubtedly the millennial answer to the Beatniks and the Lost Generation. However, the cruel grace of retrospect reveals the Toothless Poets were little more than five teenage meth-heads with a penchant for haikus and self-destruction. More beat-up than Beatnik, they passed their time on the muddy, beer can-strewn banks of the upper Mississippi rather than the Seine. No matter how they thumped their chests, their howls went unheard down the mighty brown currents of that loveless river.

Of this violent crew’s surviving members, their ringleader would later serve to be the closest thing I ever had to a role model in my life. 

Read: "On Digging Holes"

The Last Seltzer Man

by Jay Solomon

by Shayla Love

        A Dodge Man with a Mercedes Grill

        Pia Lindstrom had a great pair of legs, but that wasn’t what Walter Backerman remembers about her.

        After an interview with Walter’s father, Al, she looked into the Channel 4 WCBC-TV camera and said, “It’s a shame that after 55 years of continuous service, that Mr. Backerman senior will be the last seltzer man in the family. His young son Walter is enrolled to start law school in the fall.” She flashed a smile. “It’s a shame. There are too many lawyers out there and too few good seltzer men."

That was 40 years ago. Turns out, the world was spared another lawyer.

Read: "The Last Seltzer Man"







Stay of Execution 

by Victoria Fann

I owe my life to an illegal abortionist in Newport, Kentucky. Inside my mother's womb I was with her on that January day in 1959, her shivering, me warm and safe, while she waited for Roger to pick her up on Vine Street in Cincinnati. Roger was not my father. He was a Sigma Chi frat brother who needed the $50 my father put out to some guys over beers the night before. Roger didn't have a car so my father loaned him his—a blue '57 Chevy. Little comfort it offered my mother when it pulled to the curb that morning.

Read: "Stay of Execution"

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